American label Tommy Hilfiger has benefitted particularly from their collaboration with supermodel and social media star Gigi Hadid. Managing to catch the attention of fashion front rows to millennials around the world ever since its first collaboration in 2016 all the way into 2018. From turning a New York pier into a carnival, a venue in London into a ‘Rock Circus”, a Malibu beach into the grounds of a music festival and recently shut things down at the end of Milan Fashion week with an oversized race track venue are some of the many things the brand has done to keep the buzz alive. “Today(2017), 50% of our revenues are outside the United States,” Manny Chirico, the CEO of PVH, was quoted as saying. By embracing new technology (live streaming its fashion shows, experimenting with the ‘see now- buy now’ concept etc Tommy Hilfiger has managed to attracted a younger audience – 35% of which are now under 35. But has the collaboration with the 22 year old street style superstar managed to help the brand get past screenshots and screensavers and into the wardrobes of the cool kids here in India? We find out.
Qaisar, 24, Musician@iakksakkath,
Siddhi, 18, Student@siddhivanmali
Elisabeth, 22, Musician and Student @phosphorlight
Ankita, 20, Student @ankitanikki,
When was the last time you stepped into a Tommy Hilfiger store to make a purchase?
Qaisar: “To be honest the Indian market rarely has anything worthwhile to be purchased.” @iakksakkath, 24, Musician.
Siddhi: Last week. It is unfortunate that they don’t have the best of their collections here in India, however, my go-to has to be their sporty t-shirts in the classic blue, red and white TH colors.
What sets Tommy Hilfiger apart and what do you think is the USP of the brand?
Elisabeth: Tommy Hilfiger has been true to its style since inception, unlike a lot of other classic American brands that have taken to changing their styles radically and often in order to chase the market. It is commendable to adjust and evolve to new ideas and trends but still have the core brand identity, keeping the brand relevant to the old and the new.
Siddhi: Keeping the heritage of the brand intact is what they do best. Also, the brand creatively dubs ‘preppy with a twist’, setting it apart from those that end up selling similar looking clothes as they blindly ape trends.
What is your go-to product at Tommy Hilfiger?
Elisabeth: Their comfortable signature sweatpants.
Ankita: Classic Tommy tees from the men’s section!
Qaisar: “Their socks are pretty cool!
What are your first memories of the brand?
Elisabeth: When I was five, my mother used to hang her Tommy Hilfiger bag by the doorpost of the guest room. The simplicity of the color and the spruceness of the design has stayed with me.
Siddhi: The double spread stand out ad campaigns in the pages of magazines featuring models of all colors, enthnicity and age groups!
Ankita: My first purchase, which was a men’s wallet that I gifted a friend.
What changes do you look forward to from the brand in the near future?
Elisabeth: To step out of their safe signature hues and style and to do something different.
Qaisar: “Perhaps lower the rates! Also, the brand stays within a very bucolic territory. I think one’s vision shouldn’t be limited by its history and identity.
Siddhi: More collabs and possibly some cool sneakers! Also, to release better collections in India esp in the women’s section, it is currently piled with basic polo t-shirts, dresses, and tops!
Ankita: XXS sizes! More size options!
How influential or strong is Tommy Hilfiger as a brand in India?
Elisabeth: I’ve seen Tommy Hilfiger stores running successfully in New Delhi, ever since the early 2000s.
Ankita: Not sure how people outside of metro cities feel about the brand since its offline marketing is dead. Other than that, it sure boosted its presence online for a fashion forward audience in the past two-three years.
Siddhi: It is pretty popular among the social media driven youth, the Gigi effect has kept the brand alive and relevant.
What is your personal style and how well does it go with the vibe of Tommy Hilfiger?
Qaisar: I prefer minimal clothing and appreciate how they don’t overdo designs and keep them simple.
Siddhi: According to me Tommy Hilfiger has a casual yet preppy vibe to it and it goes very well with my style.
Ankita: I like anti fit clothing and Tommy Hilfiger mens’ collection vibe goes well with my style aesthetics.
When compared to fast fashion brands that cater mostly to the youth (Zara, Forever 21, H&M), iconic American brands like Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger etc., are fairly expensive. How can these brands stay relevant and be more competitive?
Elisabeth: Tommy Hilfiger is a high-end brand and has buyers who are ready to pay the price for the quality of it. It also has a different and specific style compared to all the other aforementioned brands and that is what keeps them apart from the rest in terms of competition. Many who like this style will surely stay true to the brand irrespective of what the other brands are doing.
Siddhi: One thing that they should do quite immediately is lower the price range to be a little more flexible, I don’t mean lower the quality, but their prices can definitely come down a little. Also, have a wider range of accessories for those who can’t afford their clothes. People can start with accessories and get more familiar with the brand.
Qaisar: Cut down the price to be more pocket-friendly.